The road to Ventoux - Part 20

Road to ventoux part 20

Have box, will travel!

The Ventoux3 challenge is raising money for the Out of the Blues charity at

It is May and the Ventoux3 challenge feels all too soon with the flights out to France being four weeks today.

Training has been variable over the last few weeks. James Walsgrove has had me really starting to build the intensity of sessions. This had been going well, culminating in the Rocker sportive that I did last Saturday (23rd April). I really enjoyed the event, despite the very cold start and strong winds, including a tough head wind up the last and longest climb from Elsdon and Billsmore. I managed to judge my effort pretty well generally and kept hydrated. I probably did not take on enough fuel since I was ravenous at the finish! Anyway, I finished the 67 mile ride (the longest I have done for a while) in just over four and a half hours. I was chuffed to be placed 25th out of 218 registered finishers, though to be fair many were not racing and stopped for coffee and cakes along the way!

However, last week, following the Rocker, training in mid-week did not go well, culminating in a session on Thursday when I had 2 X 30 min high power, low cadence efforts to simulate climbing planned and my legs gave up within seconds of starting the second effort. Not sure if this was the Rocker still being in my legs, the impact of a tough week at work, or possibly having a bug (I remain negative for COVID 😊). However, I managed to pull things back yesterday with a 2 hour 45 min ride that was done at a comfortable aerobic pace (Z2) but with around 25-30% of the ride pushing much harder when climbing. This included going over the infamous Ryals, one of the tougher climbs in Northumberland. While the Ryals never feels easy, over all the ride went well.

Preparations for the trip to France are now well advance, despite BA cancelling one of the return flights! Most importantly of all, after endless agonising over whether to get a sort or hard case for my bike, I plumped for a beautiful, super duper aluminium box hand made to order in Devon by Buxumbox. The clincher, aside from the box being big enough that I only have to take the wheels off to fit my bike in it, was the name of the model of box I have gone for: “Ventoux”! It just had to be. Said box has now arrived (see photo) and it is a beautifully made piece of kit.

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I wish everybody the very best and I hope you all stay healthy. Whatever your situation, try to make exercise of one sort or another a part of your daily/weekly routine. If you want to get involved in the Ventoux3 for Out of the Blues challenge in any way, then drop me an email at The dates are now confirmed as the 2nd or 3rd June, with a reserve day of the 4th. The exact day will be weather determined (see blog #19!).

Hamish McAllister-Williams